Sunday, 10 July 2011

Race for life 2011

I was worried I would not be able to run this race as I had not been well the few days before but I got up in the morning and felt OK so I ate my porridge. My breakfast seemed to take a long time to settle, I think it was just nerves because by the time I got to the race it had settled. We arrived early so had plenty of time to park in the dedicated  field. During the walk of about ½ mile to the start, I was relieved to see lots of ladies in pink.

walk to the start

warm up
I arrived in time for the hanky man warm up which I did some just not all as I did not want to ware myself out before the race, my normal warm up is a walk before run, none the less  I enjoy it. We all got divided in to Fast Runners, Joggers and Walkers where I joined the Joggers being more my pace. Following a count down we were off.

I went off fast, having not worked out yet how to start slower, excitement seems to kick in and I just go with the flow. It was very crowed at the start, soon it thinned out and I found myself over taking and being over took by the same group of people, throughout the race.

half way

The course was all on grass which was nice.  It was also more undulating than I am used to so I found myself walking a lot more than I hoped, think not wearing my Ipod also contributed to this.  It was a two lap course so at  halfway the winner past at 40min ,a 5k PB for me. I felt much happier with myself and stopped the harsh head talk. The second lap was so much easier and felt a lot shorter until that is the last 1k where we went a different way up a hill and down again before finishing I was worn out and thought I would end up walking across the finish line. However my family cheered for me and energy came from somewhere and I ran across in 1hr 32 min.

Got my medal and swag bag ,which has things like tooth paste and super absorbent wipes. Although I felt exhausted. I did sigh up for next year, got to keep going.


Pre race
Post race

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Mr Grump

This is a poem I have written about some who was dear to me

It is hard to say how I feel
This is not 
Not what?
You have taught me how to live
Taught me there is away
Taught me to take the challenge
Embrace it
Use it 
Hold it
Find away
Move forward
And live
What can't be done
Find away
Look around

You have taught me 
Taught me to love
Taught me to laugh
Taught me about me
My dreams
My life
My hope
To push the limits
Find it and use it

I will miss you 
Thanks for showing 
My life 
For what it is
For the gift of your life
The privlege of 
Knowing you

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Walk run

Some times when out running I find that I need to walk. I had thought of it as cheating a little, after all surely when you say you are running you mean running and walking is not running. I have since found out that is is quite common and beginners often walk some of the way even in races. For me it allows me to recover a little so I can carry on and complete that days miles.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Thoughts on diet

I do not believe in diets the evidence both personal and scientific is that they do not work. In fact they are a good way to actually put weight on. I blame diets for my size. Don't get me wrong I know my size is because I eat more than burn.  I have found though with each diet started the easier it became to put weight back on, plus a little extra. So I am not on a diet the aim of running for me is about fulling my lifetime goal of completing a marathon and in the process getting fitter

All that said however I have noticed a subtle changes in food choices made. I also feel fuller sooner and don't feel the need to continue eating passed that full feeling. Not sure why this is, it could be that I feel better about myself overall. As I am doing something I have set out to do and am closer to that marathon and have much more energy overall. Others have asked if I have lost any weight and some clothes do feel loose. The answer is I don't know, don't weigh myself regularly. Yes I would love to be slim I just don't want to get bigger so won't be dieting in a traditional sense.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Race report Stratford Triathlon relay 2011

Second race completed wow! I arrived early once again, it is what I do. So I had the opportunity to explore how things worked and see what the expo was about. I was reassured and inspired as there were people of every type there who were doing the whole thing. You never know one day I might complete it too. I did not eat before leaving home, stupid I know, I was very nervous, don't think I would have kept it down so I grabbed a coffee and a flap jack whist I waited for the rest of my team to arrive.

Once they did we all registered together and got our numbers marked on our right arm left leg, it is still there. Then it was awaiting game again. We watched the transition area and cheered. Specially the two members of our team that were completing the whole race. Wow amazing. Soon it was Joe's turn to swim and she managed 400m in 10 min then came running out to the transition were Gill and me were waiting. Gill set off once the arm bands were exchanged. We were worried about her as she had fallen from her bike a couple days earlier and injured her shoulder.

Gill was however determined to do it just slower than she first hoped. She was back in the transition area about a  hour later just as our other team mate were finishing. I was watching them and almost missed Gills return but now it was my turn arm band exchanged and I was off. Along a grassy track the ground was very in even unlike the canal I had been training on but I soon got in to it. I had decided to keep to under 15min miles and tried to monitor myself however I found I was going at 13min miles. I was still being over taken but was not worried about it.

It was a two lap course and at half way all my team mates and family were there cheering me on so I had a little boost then. Second time round though I found my self walking my legs just would not move now it was the runners passing me that egged me on saying "go on you can do it" and "dig deep." At one point  I found I was running again with Blues Euro-vision song going though my head. Headphone were not allowed. I was singing "I can, I will" over and over and I kept on going. Suddenly the finish was in sight and I crossed to cheers. I got a PB of 46 min.

Bring on the next race

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Pre Race

It is almost race time again. Although I have been doing speed work I don’t know if I am any faster suppose I will find out tomorrow. I am nervous though, I have my kit packed and have taken it easy today.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Running with my dog

When I first stared this running thing I did so alone. Which was fine but lonely and took a lot of motivation to get out there in the beginning. Then I read a artical, cant remember where , in which they suggested taking your dog with you, if you have not got running partner. Around the same time I was listening to the 4 feet running podcast, where the regularly take there two dogs with them, therefore was aware of  others doing it. I thought well it would be two birds with one stone, she needs to be walked anyway. That is how Sasha started to come along with me.


At first my plan was to only take her occasionally maybe once a week. I found though when she was not with me the run seemed harder, she acted as a wonderful distraction. I have to watch for other dogs, squirals and check she does not wrap herself around a post or my legs. I have got it down to a fine art now run and spin around at the same time.  I feel safer when she is with me specially in lonely areas. So I take her with me most of the time now, mostly though because she guilts me into it.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Carpe deim

Took a 60 min run today for the first time and I have discovered I can run faster than a barge. As I was coming close to but not quite at my turn around point a barge, called Carpe Diem, passed me going in the opposite direction.  How cool!  I felt so much happier about my whole life, not just the run, I thought "yes seize the day, I can do this." I carried on running along the canal and got to my turn around and returned the way I came, would you believe I caught up with Carpe Diem near the end of my run. So I can run faster then a barge.

Carpe Diem

When I got back home in the post was my Number for my 1st 10k in July

10k race number

Good day!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


I have started a plan to improve my speed a bit for my next race in a few weeks.  In which I am running the run part of in a triathlon relay. Think I have mentioned it before, the run times for last year are a lot faster than I can do at the moment, so I decided to improve speed.So far it has been interesting it is hard I feel  like I am starting again. My legs hurt, I cant breath, sweating buckets and coming home with wobbly legs and as of yet I am not sure I am any faster. 'Need to stick to the plan' I tell my self and we will see on race day.

Found on mug

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

New Schedule

Started the new schedule this week to improve my speed. It has started me off easy with slow runs (Easy run) of various times. I decided to start using the heart rate monitor, for my Garmin, so that I can stay at the correct pace however I was reaching the target for a easy run whilst walking. Not good, so I have adjusted the limits a bit. I still can manage to hold a conversation so I feel OK about it. Today was a total of 50 minutes and once completed I felt I could have gone on a lot further.

It has been beautiful out there this week the sun is out and it is unseasonably warm. The blackthorn is in bloom and the ducks are much more settled in there pairs, ducklings will be showing themselves soon. With it warming up I must remember to take water with me don't know how I am going to carry it with a dog lead as-well, it is getting interesting. Next week I start speed work AHH!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wyre Forest Jog; race report

I have done it amazingly! I turned up early, just in case I got lost along the way, I did make one wrong turn but was fine. However just as we were getting out of the car there was a car accident just outside the venue, no-one was hurt thank goodness. I was glad I was not involved and it did delay people arriving after us. So I had plenty of time to get my tee-shirt, they had loads in my size still , pin on my number,  watch fallow runners arrive whilst having a drink to keep hydrated.

 All this time though meant I also had time to get very nervous cant believe how much, it  was worse than going on stage and dancing. I had to go to the toilet several times before the start.

There were about 600 runners according to the comentater even dogs, I missed Sasha at this point, I wonder how she would have got on with the crowd.

There was a Zumba warm up which I choose not to do, I did not want to be to knacked before the start

With a delayed start due to the car crash we finally were off

The beginning was down hill. I was glad I heeded advice and started near the back so as not to go off too fast but I did spend the first few minutes weaving my way though walkers. Passing people was very reassuring as  I was not going to be last, mind I was also over taken by a man with his daughter on his shoulders, mad passed though my mind

The first mile was taken up with the weaving game, then we hit the mud on a narrow path. I was glad I had the right shoes so was not worried about slipping so could carry on running. I played this game with one family , yes family, taking it in turns in the lead I passed on the muddy bit, they passed me on the dryish parts.

The final mile was one long steep hill. At the start of it I walked and thought it would go down just passed the bend but it just carried on up and up. I had to stop once to get my breath.  About 200yards from the finish it finally leaved out .When I saw my family cheering me on I almost cried and I managed to run over the finish line

 in 55.46, I know I have gone faster in training but that hill was amazing and I walked quite fast up it only stopping once. So I am very proud of my self can't wait to do it again.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Sunshine & 3 miles

I have enjoyed beautiful runs this week, this could be as I  have achieved the 3mile goal, also the weather has been lovely. Today the sun was out for what seemed like the first time in ages. I got quite hot and thought I should have worn a tee-shirt. Between seasons it is hard to decide what to where normally let alone when you are running in it and getting warm. I am not the only one with this dilemma every runner I see has a different option, on from tee-shirt to jacket.

Funny this is my concern not finishing the miles, I am so proud of this achievement. Race day is on Sunday and I have run the distance twice, slowly but done it. I have been told I will run faster in a race not sure how that happens how will I know I can maintain it for the distance. I have already decided to walk any steep hills, as all my training has been on the flat and hills scare me. Now I know I can run the distance it feels OK if I have to do that. So if I end up waking some of it how can it be faster. Suppose I will find out on Sunday.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spring has sprung

I have have had a fanatic week running. I can really feel it getting easier today especially, completed 2.5 miles and by the end of this week I will have done the 3miles, a whole week before my race. Getting excited and nervous all at the same time, am also being very protective of my self and resting as feel like I and on the edge of a cold, the last thing I need now.

Spring just seems to have come out of nowhere suddenly there are cocues and birds in pairs everywhere, not sure how the transsition between the seasons happened , I swear last week it was in hiding, only the brave snow drops were showing there heads.  Cant wait to see the ducklings and signets on my route even more motivation to keep me on track. Will need to fish out my tee shirts soon.

Friday, 18 February 2011


This week has be a good one. I am running again, using different plan as I had to readjust again to meet my 5k target before the race in March. I found one in a magazine which will get me running 5k on race day, so I am happy. It is a bit strange as each day is different. It stared with 2k run then 2min walk and repeat, the next run was 15min run 5min walk 5min run. Then my next run will repeat the first day. It feels easy at the moment having run for 30 min continuously on The C25K program. It does feel nice to mix it up a bit.

My heel feels a lot better, it still niggles so I am wary but don't want to give up what has taken so much effort to achieve. I owe some of my recovery to a interesting device called a Nova-sonic,see picture, basically it vibrates and sends sonic waves into the injured area. Now I don't know if my heel would be ok now with out it but the pain was significantly less following the first 10 minute treatment. So I  will be investing in one for myself to use in the future. It worked well on my tight  shoulders too.

I have also discovered, rather happily, that missing one run does not mean a step back, my first run back was just as easy as it was before.In fact  I ran further before I felt tired, even on a different plan. So maybe the two weeks off running they talk about before you lose fitness is true. Not sure I want to test that I think two weeks off running would be more difficult to psychologically get back from. Maybe though I am too new to this to make a judgement. I have learnt though it is not to detrimental to miss one run if you have to. That said though I am sure making a habit if it will make a difference.

Friday, 11 February 2011


Whist out on my 2mile run yesterday my heel stared to hurt. Ok I will back track, following my 2mile run on the 7/2 whist walking later in  the day my heel started to hurt. I iced it , rested and thought it was OK so run yesterday, when it flared up during my run. I only managed 1 mile and had to walk home. I have rested, iced and stopped walking bare foot around the house. I hate shoes indoors having grown up  barefooted  in Africa . It still hurts so  tomorrow I will treat as another rest day ,skipping the run giving it more of a chance to heal. I feel very frustrated now just as I was starting to enjoy this running thing, I am not giving up though so that is a definite change.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

My C25K experience

As I have already said I have now completed the c25k program. I have actually finished something I started and feel quite proud of my self. When I first started running the program the 1 minute was so hard and the time each week seem to double. Week 5 was interesting, with the transition to a full 20 minutes running, my legs were like jelly. I could not believe I had done it in the snow too.

I was even ill and did not go out for over a week yet I came back on the program and carried on. Now I can keep going for 30min, 1 minute is not difficult now. All in 9 weeks (OK 10 with the week off). OK so I am only running 2miles not the 3.1 (5k) but I will get there.

To get there I have decided to go back using distance this time, about week 5 and progress from there, which means basically I increasing the distance I run by 0.25 each week so by race day I will have completed the 3.1 miles. I will however run continently for the 2 miles not the intervals on week 5 & 6.

I am staring to enjoy running now it still hurts at times but I feel so much better the rest of the time that it does not seem so bad. May be I can run a Marathon in a couple of years.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

After work run

Well I have completed the c25k and will cover my thoughts in a later post, I want to talk about today's run first.

I went for what was supposed to be a 2 miles run today after work. What a disaster it felt like I was starting out from the beginning again I could not even mange 0.5 mile. My knees hurt I felt sick awful. Thinking about it now though it was my first time going out after work, I like to get it over with in the morning, so have the eating thing sorted. At lunch today I sat down for my meal and was half way though when I remembered about the up and coming ran so as a consequence I was still a little full when I went out. I was also tired from work.

I choose to go after work to make my run schedule a bit more even, else at some point this week I would have three days between runs. I don't like the  idea of have a that longer gap between my runs. I also start work at 0730 , getting up at 0530 to run is not appealing to me right now, I like my sleep and am not a very good morning person.  So given all that after work seemed a good idea. I am proud that I went out and did it, next time I will not have such high expectations of a post work run.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Running in the woods

Week 9 day 1
Decided to run in the woods, preparing for the Wyre Forest Jog, my other half came along to cut some wood as you do. It is a small wood but there is a path across a field to another part of it so I thought I go along it until  completing 15 min then turn around and come back. I got to the bridge across to the path and it was gone,  I was not jumping across for any one, so I ran around the small area waving to the wood cutter four times in total.

It felt very different compared to road running. The ground was uneven but soft, no mud today. I was unsure where the actual path was at times, as it was covered with last years dried leaves. I found looking up helped with that. The most difficult issue though was the path was not straight, it twisted and turned its way though the trees, several times at one point . This made it harder, each time I went though that section I felt my legs get heavy.

Overall  I ran slower and therefore had more energy left towards end so I picked my pace a bit for the last 2 min or so completing 1.72 miles in total. I did enjoy myself today it was challenging and different, so I may go off to a different woods at some point next week.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A Plan

Well week eight is going well and  I will hopefully complete day three tomorrow. The problem is it is slow and I am no where near the 5k distance. What is more I looked up the race results, of a race I have agreed to enter as a team with work, the 5k's were between 15 -33 min. Oh dear I can possibly run 2miles in 30 min, will find out exactly how far next week, which means that if I stay at this pace I will be last by at least 10 min. The good news is that that race is not until May. I have my first one in March which is advertised more as a fun run. So the theory is I should be OK there.

My plan is then to do the  Wyre Forest Jog so I will have a better idea of the time I do in a race and then improve it from there. To achieve that, once I have completed week nine on the C25K plan, I will work on distance so I can go close to or better than  3.1miles (5k) by race time. Go the distance worry about speed later.

Before I go  I would like to thank every one who has supported me so far it in this.

Friday, 21 January 2011

week 7

At the Start of week 7 ,I think it is psychological ,but it was so hard about half way I was exhausted did not think I would make it. Carried on though had to walk for about 10 second kept just saying to my self come on you can do this and I did was bit sore the next day though. Now at the end of the week it is been better I had moments where I felt like a real runner. My Garmin has let me know that I am running about 1.6 miles, so over half way for my first 5k race in march.

Talking of races I have entered into a 10k in October and am planing to do the running 5k of a local triathlon as part of a rely team from work. So I have to keep going after march. Have also received my race details today, so it is official.

Friday, 14 January 2011


The new shoes are great I am out running on the street and I have seen ducks, squirrels and Santa doing his post Xmas run, wish I had my camera for that one. He was a  guy with a long white beard, slightly rotund, dressed in red and was impressed that I had done 1 mile. The only issue with the road are HILLS for some bizarre reason I forgot that they exist and the first run I did on the road I chose to up this long hill, it went on forever. Will go the other way next time at least until I am a bit stronger, will have to get used to hills they are everywhere.

Anyway I have completed week six, finally, it does feel great to have done so. From now on in the plan there will be no walking on my runs, I wonder how that will feel. I have invested in a Garmin 305  to see how far I am actually running. So far 1.5 miles has been the farthest distance, it has been quite slow but I am sure I will speed up once I am more used to it all. I wonder how long I should wait until working more on my speed?

So looks like I have to do more hills and think about what to do once completed the C25K plan

Friday, 7 January 2011

New Shoes

Decided  to get new road running shoes today, I have a pair of trail ones which are great but I am bored of running round and round the same field and would like to vary my routine by going along the road. So I need new road shoes they have more cushioning and help prevent injuries apparently, given how fed up I was over Christmas not being able to run, injury prevention sounds like a good  thing to me.

Anyway I went to the same place where I got my last shoes Coventry Runner. They were fantastic I was treated like runner despite my looks. Even the Niki rep, that happened to be in the shop, was helpful. He spoke about about other brands, whist I was waiting for help. I walked on a treadmill for a minute or two whist having my walk analysed, to see what type of shoe is best for me. Good job I only had to walk, not run, as that was weird enough, it is bizarre having the ground move under your feet forcing you to move. The results showed that  a neutral shoe is fine for me. This was a surprise for me as I have plantar fascitis and thought I would need supportive shoes.

So now I own two pairs of running shoes this is becoming a obsession. I will be running tomorrow in my new shoes along the road whoo!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Ups and Downs

The Christmas tree has been put away and I have space at the computer again. What a couple of weeks I have had. Before Christmas I managed to complete week 5, 20 mins in the snow, 3 times around the field. I remembered when 1/2 a side felt hard I would  imagine running all the way around it and looking back at the beginning. Then I thought it would take me a lot longer to get here but here I was only a few weeks later  I was so proud of my self.  I did how ever feel completely dead at the end of the 20 mins  with a blister on my foot, still happy and ready to move on to the next week though.

Of which I did day one quite happily then the flu hit, on boxing day could not move. I attempted to run again on new years eve starting week 5 again but only managed  half. I felt so disappointed but I could not breath and felt so sick the only answer was to drag my self home. Thought I would try again two days later and here I am just finished day three week 5 again,  it was so much easer this time, no blisters or wobbly legs.

I felt the need of a change so I run a different route.  It does mean I need to stop and  cross the road which is a bit annoying that but cant be helped I suppose. It did feel good running on a different path with Sasha.